Amos 9:13 -“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
And all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
When Jesus performs His first miracle at Cana by turning water into wine (John 2:1-11) the passage above connects the presence of the Messiah with the abundance of wine. By turning all that water into wine (appx. 150 gallons) Jesus is announcing that the Messiah with the long anticipated Kingdom has arrived. The water pots for ritual cleaning is replaced by the wine of Joy found in the arrival of the only one wherein eternal cleansing is found.
The fact that the the water pots used were connected with the Jewish purification rites suggests that they would automatically become unclean if filled with any old water. However, by filling those ceremonial water pots with the best of wine the declaration is that the Old Testament ceremonial law has been fulfilled by the one who those ceremonies anticipated. Jesus is putting new wine into old water-skins.
when the Master of the feast declares the superiority of this Wine
that Jesus had created — even to the point of ‘saving the best for
last,’ the Miracle proclaims that the Old Covenant was water as
compared to the New Covenant as wine. The book of Hebrews says the
same thing more directly,
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…
Of course this all makes sense in light of the fact that this Miracle kicked off Jesus public ministry. The opening sign of the public ministry of Jesus is the production of wine that proclaimed that the Messiah was present and ready to establish the long expected kingdom.
Jesus begins this Miracle with informing His mother that “my time has not yet come.” This idea of a coming hour is a sub-theme of the book of John (cmp. 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20; 13:1; 17:1) and is a declaration that the time of the Cross is not yet present. The usage of this literary trope informs us that John’s Gospel is moving towards a destination, indicating that all that preludes that appointed hour is but prelude until the arrival of that hour. Like a novel that builds to a climax, the book of John is building to a climax (Cross and Resurrection) and by the usage of the “hour” language we are being told the climax to the story is yet to come.
We should not miss that the beginning of Jesus ministry begins with a Miracle that is associated with feasting and merriment. This provides the first bookend to Jesus ministry with the latter bookend again in the context of feasting and merriment that will occur in the newness of the Father’s Kingdom. This is suggestive that Christianity and Christians should be characterized by laughter, merriment, joy, and feasting. The Kingdom has come.
Finally, we have the way Jesus addresses His mother. First, here, referring to His mother as “woman” was a common way of addressing women in this 1st century Palestine culture. We see Jesus use it again in regards to His mother when He is on the cross. (John 19:26 – “Woman, behold thy Son.”) Clearly, Jesus is not being insulting to His mother when He tenderly provides her with a home by commissioning her to John’s care.
Jesus address to His mother also includes the rebuff of “What does your concern have to do with me.” First, we need to note that Mary’s concern of providing wine for her guests was indeed no concern of Jesus. This miracle of Jesus when accomplished was not accomplished in order to satisfy Mary’s concern, though the satisfying of Mary’s concern coincided with Jesus’ concern to declare His Messianic bonafides for those with eyes to see.
Summarizing, Jesus first Miracle is a declaration that the Old Covenant has served its purposes and now the purpose that it served in heralding the coming Messiah is past as the coming Messiah has arrived raining down the fruit of the vine upon the people of God.